Work in the UK after graduation

International Students

If you are thinking of working in the UK after your studies there are important things you must check. 

The Careers Service is not authorised to give advice on work permit or visa applications.

Working in the UK

Before applying for graduate jobs in the UK, we recommend you consult the GOV.UK website: UK Visas and Immigration.  Be sure to check regularly as government regulations are subject to continuous change.

Graduate Route Visa

NEW: From 1st July 2021, applications are open for the Graduate Route Visa which allows international graduates to stay in the UK for up to two years (or three if you have a PhD) to work or look for work. This document for international students and graduates on Working in the UK: Answers to frequently asked questions includes an overview of the main immigration routes available.

This Employer Guide to Recruiting International Graduates highlights the unique skillset international graduates bring, and explains the hiring options under the Graduate and Skilled Worker routes.

Graduate Route - update from International Student Support Team, March 2021

GOV.UK Graduate Route

The International Student Support Team

The International Student Support Team run regular sessions to help international students.

See advice from the International Student Support Team on working after studies.

Guides and advice

Finding opportunities

  • Try to start your job search as early as possible.  Deadlines for students requiring a sponsored visa are sometimes earlier than general deadlines.
  • As well as using the MyCareerHub Strathclyde vacancy portal (DS login), use our pages on Looking for a Job and Sources of Advertised Vacancies
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are three-way partnerships involving a business, a graduate and an academic institution, lasting between 1-3 years.  These paid projects require research in specialist areas, and welcome applications from international graduates.   

UK Employers and Job Sector Information

Register of licensed sponsors

The Careers Service cannot give you a list of companies who will sponsor a visa to work in the UK.

The Home Office has produced a register of licensed sponsors (PDF: 2.69MB) to employ migrant workers. 

If you’re using the register of licensed sponsors to check organisations be aware they may only sponsor:

  • experienced hires, not recent graduates
  • specific roles
  • for some of their offices, not across the UK
  • internal transfers, not new entrants

If an organisation is on the list it means they have previously or are currently sponsoring a migrant worker, it is not necessarily a commitment to sponsor in the future.

If an organisation is not on the list, you could still apply to work for them. The employer may be willing to become a registered sponsor to hire you, if you are the best candidate for the job.

You could consider including information about sponsorship in your application.  For more information, see:

Get advice on UK recruitment processes and making applications.


Check this Brexit Information page, maintained by our International Student Support Team, for updates about Brexit and how it may affect you.